Thursday, October 02, 2008

Deer down, reporter up

"Brian Bichell of Rosedale, Md., drags a lifeless deer from the forest to his truck after he shot it with a bow and arrow, as he and other archers gather for the opening of the annual deer hunt season in Loch Raven Reservoir off of Paper Mill Road in Baltimore County, Tuesday morning."

Aside from the inspiring and wonderful photo staff at The Baltimore Sun, I've had the pleasure to work alongside some great editors and reporters this summer, too.

A lot of the time when a story runs (and I am guilty of it too) a photographer won't mention those who actually discovered the story and are doing their magic with the words- the reporter.

Although I haven't worked with all the reporters at The Sun directly or indirectly, if at all, there were a handful I found myself teaming up with time and time again. Together we've enjoyed the painful, mundane long days as well as the interesting, exciting and eventful stories.

The great thing about the "word side" folk I've had the chance to work with is that they are all great people, which makes a long day hanging out with them enjoyable. And when you're happy and having a good time, I believe that is when your work flourishes.

A couple weeks ago, I got to rise once again this summer before the sun and head out to shoot a story with a reporter I had just met and worked with the day before, and there was no altering the fact that it would be a good day.

Having stayed out late with David Hobby the night before and getting to bed around 2 a.m., I knew my day would be miserable when my alarm clock rang at 3:45 a.m. for my assignment.

I was up before dawn to meet a sun reporter for the first day of the annual deer hunt.

The story revolved around hunters being allowed to, for a lack of different words, shoot down white-tailed deer in the Loch Raven Reservoir for the first time of the season and ever in this area, so we hung out with a select archer.

Prior to the "deer stake out" I got some frames off and the reporter got most of his interview out of the way, before for about three hours we (tried) to sit quietly in the dark, cold, damp, bug and tick infested forest.

We lasted, maybe 20 minutes in dead silence as we sat in the brush on a rotting fallen tree. Then it started. The laughter.

Granted we both were running low on sleep and hoping not to get shot ourselves, we couldn't help but to keep one another company.

At times we would catch ourselves getting too loud, and quiet down for a couple minutes. That was until we finally saw a deer; run walk right under hunters stand without him ever noticing.

We lost it. When we saw the deer we went mute. Then after he vanished, we laughed to the point where my chest hurt.

It was one of those, dare I say hysterical giggles, one gets when sitting in church. Its known to be on your best behavior when in worship, but it gets the best of everyone when in church that they cannot control a good laugh. That was us, yet in wilderness.

Following the unsuccessful hunt, we did manage to run into two other hunters who had shot a deer and made at least my morning worth it (better story telling than a guy sitting in a tree). What almost wasn't worth it is when one of them angrily asked us using choice words if we were protesters?

He had been in another stand obstruct to us and heard us "chatting" all morning. But once he found out who we were, he warmed up after many apologizes from us (as we feared an arrow in our chests).

All in all, without some laughter to keep our sanity, I don't think the story would have been as good as it was. We had a good time and did our jobs at the same time.

When my internship ends, I'll miss everyone dearly. No pun intended. But I'll be sure not to forget the reporters who I worked with all summer and made my days and stories when I wasn't working alone a great time.

Thanks, guys and girls. This ones for you and all the future reporters I'll ever work with.


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